“As you walk down these streets remember that you are walking the same streets as St Paul, St John and probably Mary, the mother of Jesus,” our guide told us as we walked into the ancient city of Ephesus.
It was also the honeymoon choice for Cleopatra and Marc Anthony. Imagine that! Excavations continue on an ongoing basis as and when funding is available and only about 10% of the city has been excavated so far. If you do have Kusadasi on your itinerary a tour of Ephesus is a must. Our guide (a high school teacher) made the place come alive for us so please don’t feel that this is just another tour of ancient ruins.
Inevitably as part of our tour we ended up at a carpet weaving demonstration. Our guide joked that this was part of the tour and assured us that the proprietor was not his cousin and he wasn’t getting a commission.
It certainly was interesting learning how the carpets were made and we were served with refreshments of our choice while a whole team of robust looking Turks rolled out carpet after carpet on the floor. When they got down to the smaller ones they skilfully spun them up in the air so we could truly say we had been to Turkey and seen a flying carpet.
When the demonstration was over however the skilful carpet spinners honed in to see if they could spin a sale. Don’t get me wrong – they were quite pleasant and polite when we declined to purchase. Some of our group did indeed buy rugs and came home with some delightful examples of extremely skilful work from the carpet co-operative.
Kusadasi was really not what I had expected. It is very Western in feel. The people are sophisticated, friendly and speak English quite well.
Shopping in Kusadasi was a treat. Great silver, leather, silks and ceramics and even some Genuine Fake watches. I had to keep in mind that I was planning to return to Turkey later in my trip and the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul was calling my name. I did however make a very small contribution to the economy with the purchase of a silver necklace. Well really – I like to do my part!